Monday, August 14, 2006

Leading zero

I dislike representing numbers between 0 and 1 with a leading zero, as in "0.05". I much prefer without the zero: ".05". But for some reason I keep finding myself putting the leading zero there, even though I don't like it. Sometimes I catch myself. Usually I don't. Curse you, environmental factors!


Anonymous said...

0.05 is easier to read than .05, don't you think?

Travis said...

Absolutely not. It all comes down to whichever one you prefer—if you prefer the leading zero, then you'll assume it's there. If you don't, you'll assume it's not. When I see 0.05, I first assume that it's .005 until I look more closely. The opposite is likely true for people who prefer 0.05; they must initially think 0.5 when they see .05.